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News All DIA Hearings will continue to be conducted In-Person.

1/12/2022
  • Department of Industrial Accidents

Media Contact for All DIA Hearings will continue to be conducted In-Person.

Omar Hernandez, Senior Judge

MassachusettsDIA Emergency Administrative Bulletin 12

TO:                  All Parties

FROM:            Omar Hernández, Senior Judge

RE:                  Return to Virtual Conferences

DATE:             January 12, 2022

Due to the resurgence of the Covid virus, Dispute Resolution will return to conducting Conferences and Lump Sum Conferences via the Virtual Q platform beginning January 18, 2022 and this change will remain in place until further notice.   

All Hearings will continue to be conducted In-Person.

 

CONFERENCES

  • At approximately 2:00 PM on the evening prior to scheduled meeting, a link to the VirtualQ will be added to the Attorney Calendar. 
  • The link will display under the heading Today’s and Upcoming Web Meetings.
  • This link, in a series of prompts, grants access to the Administrative Judges and Conciliators’ virtual waiting room.
  • The link will be displayed and available only on the calendar of the attorney with a current Appearance Form 114 on file with the DIA (attorney of record). 
  • The Employee/Claimant is REQUIRED to attend the VirtualQ Conference. 
  • ALL attorneys must dress as if they are appearing In-Person. No hoodies, baseball caps, sweatshirts, fleece jackets, golf shirts, or other clothing that is inappropriate for a courtroom appearance. Professional courtesy and respect is owed to the Court and opposing counsel. 
  • Employee’s counsel is responsible to share the VirtualQ link with the Employee.
  • It is the responsibility of the attorney of record to make the link available to any other attorney presenting on his/her behalf and to their respective clients.
  • Once the link has been established no other notices or notification will go out from the DIA regarding the meeting.
  • Virtual Conferences will be scheduled in the afternoon at half hour intervals beginning at 12:00 p.m.
  • Conference notices will continue to be sent out six weeks in advance of the meeting.
  • Read the information provided for joining the web meeting.
  • Please make sure you have an active account.
  • Parties are required to submit the Conference Memorandum (Form 140) no later than two business days BEFORE the scheduled Conference meeting.
  • Parties are required to submit the Conference submissions (medical, non-medical, and hypothetical questions) no later than two business days BEFORE the scheduled Conference meeting.
  • Please note that any additional medical documents that were not part of the Conference packet will only be accepted and forwarded if received by the Department at least fifteen (15) business days prior to the scheduled impartial examination. 
  • This rule was implemented in 2015 because impartial physicians review the board files many days before the impartial examination and the DIA cannot assure the parties that a physician will review the new medical evidence with little notice. 
  • It would be unreasonable for the Department to place the burden upon the physicians with busy medical practices to continuously check the file to determine whether new medical evidence had been imported. 
  • Employee’s counsel is responsible to provide the employee with a copy of the Conference order.

 

Lump Sum Settlement Conferences

  • The parties may request a virtual meeting with an Administrative Judge to hear a Lump Sum Settlement Conference. 
  • If the request is granted, the Employee/Claimant is REQUIRED to attend the VirtualQ Lump Sum Conference. 

Media Contact for All DIA Hearings will continue to be conducted In-Person.

Department of Industrial Accidents 

The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) oversees the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 152, c. 23E, and 452 CMR § 1.00 - 9.00. Our Division of Dispute Resolution functions as the court system for disputed cases. Also the DIA ensures all Massachusetts employers have Workers' Compensation insurance coverage for their employees. We serve injured workers, employers, insurers, attorneys, medical providers, and others involved in the Workers' Compensation process.
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